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Defender & Safety?

Discussion in 'Defender 90 / 110 / 130' started by Diallo, Sep 17, 2004.

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  1. Diallo

    Diallo New Member

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    I'm looking to relocate to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia within the next year or so. I recently discovered that Ethiopia is #1 in the world for car accidents. Unfortunately, I have experienced two accidents in my limited time there. That being said, I want something that is a TANK. I have been doing some reading on the Defenders and safety. Most reviews don't rank the Defender very high when it comes to safety, due to a lack of ABS and airbags. However, in Ethiopia, most cars don't drive that fast - which amazes me that they can have so many car accidents. So my concern is the ability to withstand a rear or side impact at moderate speeds. I don't want to put my family in a death trap. Thanks for any feedback!

    Diallo
     
  2. struy

    struy New Member

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    hi Diallo

    I can't remember the exact crash survey, but in LRO magazine (end of last yr?...sorry) it reported that driver safety in a Defender was, i think, almost unbeaten. I also couldn't say whether this was front impact testing or any other kind of collision. Whatever, it was proper, bona fide!

    However, a matter of basic physics will help you determine a degree of safety that other lower slung chassis type vehicles won't have. Addis Ababa might buck the UK trend somewhat, but even still, the vast majority of other vehicles - or potential collisions waiting to happen - are going to be lower slung. Rather than the cabin taking most of the impact in such an occurrance, the Defender's chassis will bear the brunt. Then there is the matter of that chassis, heavier and stronger than your average car's.

    There is also the mass of the vehicles, relative to each other. So a smaller, lighter car is going crumple and move more than the Defender (especially if it's impacting the chassis!). Occupants will therefore be subject to slightly greater centrifugal forces in the smaller car. The lighter and smaller the car, the more airbags i'd want around me.

    On the downside, you have a higher centre of gravity (rolls) that would become more of an issue if an impact were to happen on uneven ground. An ideal would be a Defender with all the safety kit we now take for granted in standard family cars...

    So basically, avoid pranging another Defender or similar, or worse, something bigger, oh, and buy a 110!. But i think everyone would agree, the best piece of safety kit is the driver.
     
  3. Jens

    Jens Member

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    Get a 110 with a role cage and you have a tank.

    Couple of years ago a Defender on 38" tires rolled over 6 or 7 times after the driver lost control of it while driving around 70 mph up here. The driver unfortunately died, the others walked without a scratch because the remembered their seat belt. I saw the Defender after the crash and I must say it was in pretty good shape considering the crash.
     
  4. Oddie

    Oddie AntiSeptic Sandal Wearer

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    One of the problems with a defender in a smack is the rigidity of the construction - being all fixed to a very solid chassis there is no crumple zone so your body will be asked to go from impact speed to 0 much faster than in a car made of bacofoil, which most are now. (That's partly why no more defenders after 2010, lack of crumple-ability from the too-solid chassis). Apparently if your body stops too quick the major organs turn to jelly.

    (if your major organ isn't already soft at the time of impact then that's probably the reason for the crash!!!):D
     
  5. Griffdowg

    Griffdowg New Member

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    full external roll cage, 35" tires, 2" lift, 5 point harnesses allaround...

    that should sort you out. you be higher than most and the external cage will take a beating. might be worth also fitting security guards on the windows to help stop things smashing them.

    my colleague rolled one of our 110's on the M4 before xmas. the roof rack added support and saved her. not good when they roll but a cage will help prevent the worst.

    G
     
  6. discomania

    discomania Well-Known Member

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    I would go with the defender - it&#8217;s as close to a tank as you&#8217;re going to get without getting a tank. If most of their driving is slow then you will be sitting happy.

    Because they don't have the crumple zones and the airbags (well some do) and things when your involved in a high speed accident the force of the impact gets transferred through to passengers more because there is nothing to particularly take the worst of the force of impact away. However, if you do hit something fast there is also a good chance that what you hit you will simply crush, so you&#8217;re using them as the crush zone. I've seen a disco hit a people carrier and I would have wanted to be in the Disco, and I have seen a 90 after hitting a double brick wall about 3 feet high, the 90 went through the wall and needed its bumper straightened, new lights and the plastic surrounds and things, it still drove OK.

    A LR should keep you safe, then its all about being a good observant driver.
     
  7. Richard Seddon

    Richard Seddon Member

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    I've seen It quoted that the Defender has the best "survivability" and "low injury" rating of any vehicle on the road.

    Apparently this is an overall rating which originates from the Insurance industry. So, while the Defender has its weak points, I'd tend to go with 'real world' figures rather than NCAP type laboratory tests.

    In part, the Defender's great safety record may (in my opinion) be as a consequence of the fact that Defender drivers will 'read the road' and 'think ahead', to optimize gear changing and make good use of engine breaking, as versus most vehicles which don't need to be 'consciously driven' with mechanical sympathy. Or, maybe, we're just travelling so slow that we're calmer, and we don't put ourselves into as many stupid situations?

    One thing I have noticed, is that pedestrians are more likely to wave to a Defender driver and choose us if they want permission to walk across the road; so there's a public trust that a Defender driver is a safe driver who's also likely to be a polite driver.

    If anyone has references to the Insurance company figures, it'd be nice if they could post them here. I did have one such Insurance industry review, but I'm not sure what I've done with it. I see Honest John makes reference to the figure being an excellent 1/9 "death rate"!

    Rick
     
  8. Scooby22

    Scooby22 Well-Known Member

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    Buy a Volvo if safety is what you need,
     
  9. wattfield

    wattfield AKA Dirk Diggler

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    Just wondering, @Richard Seddon have you been reading every thread right back to 2008 since you joined on Friday? Now that's dedication for you!

    Welcome to LZ by the way!
     
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  10. Hippo

    Hippo Lord Hippo

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    Tratters use other vehicles/obstacles as crumple zones. If a car crashes into something it uses it's own crumple zone. Crumples zones absorb the energy to reduce the sudden impact of the crash, lessoning the effect on the occupants. If yer drive a tratter into a large concrete block head on at 20mph it will hurt more than if yer did the same in ma hippo.
     
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  11. Richard Seddon

    Richard Seddon Member

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    Very true, Hippo,
    But what's interesting is: if you drive two Freelanders into each other, head on, with each doing 75 mph the impact is only the same as one Freelander crashing into the immovable concrete block of a motorway bridge stantion at only 75 mph.

    Counter intuitively, 2 x 75 mph does not = a 150 crash. I've forgotten why, but the details were in Mythbusters.

    Of course, if you tried the same experiment of driving a Defender, head on into the concrete bridge stantion at 75 mph, the bridge would collapse and you'd only need to retouch the paint on the bumper.

    ...only kidding: a Defender reaching 75 mph; as if ;)!

    Rick
     
  12. Gmacz

    Gmacz Well-Known Member

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    Here is a 6x6 i found 2 mins away from me on Monday, pretty safe up there -
     

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  13. lynall

    lynall Well-Known Member

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    In reality a crash in a defender at low ish speed will end up with the defender driving away with minor damage and the other car being fubared!

    Few years ago 20mph guy in some old honda pulls out on front of my 90, the 90 ripped the front of his car off so much you could see the top of the engine, I still have the paint on my winch bumper, his car was totally u/s:D
    I got out to chat to the guy and the wife told me later she heard someone talking in another car saying they (the honda driver) chose the wrong car to pull out in front of, he didnt want to go through the insurance so I drove off quite happy, but later on thought he probably didnt have any insurance!

    But in a high speed crash I bet they are death traps.
     
  14. bluedog333

    bluedog333 Well-Known Member

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    So my OneTen only ever reaching 55mph is probably a safety design feature? :D
     
  15. lightning

    lightning Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if the O/P ever bought a Defender when he relocated to Ethiopia. He posted on here once in 2004 to ask the question about Defender safety and then never returned.

    I have only ever heard of one fatal crash involving a Defender.
     
  16. mick the builder

    mick the builder Well-Known Member

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    You could buy a 101?
     
  17. K14

    K14 Active Member

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    The only thing I would do is brace the inner sills to the chassis. The reason being is its only 50mm channel, so not great side impact protection (until the chassis rails).
    The front is protected by a big metal bumper bolted to the chassis. And the rear bumper is a chassis crossmember.
     
  18. Shippers

    Shippers Well-Known Member

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    I have...lol
     
  19. Shippers

    Shippers Well-Known Member

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    I have....only thing is in a head on if other vehicle is tall it will slide along my chassis taking front panel\dash\steering and me with it...
     
  20. Richard Seddon

    Richard Seddon Member

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    Hello, Hello? Testing, 123...
     
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